Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — As is often the case during the Spring, an incoming cold front will bring an opportunity for strong to severe storms across Central Illinois Tuesday afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has placed all of Central Illinois with a Slight Risk (level 2 threat on a scale of 1-5) for severe storms Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Key Takeaways

  • Severe Storm Timing – 4 pm to 10 pm
  • Primary Threats
    • Damaging winds up to 70 mph
    • 1.5″ diameter hail (ping pong ball sized)
    • A few tornadoes
  • Rainfall Amounts
    • Widespread: 0.50″ to 1.00″
    • Isolated: 1.00″ to 2.00″

A cold front bringing widespread severe weather to the Northern Plains Monday will bring a few strong to severe storms to Central Illinois on Tuesday. While there’s still uncertainty as to exactly where storms will develop, we expect them to develop along the remnant outflow boundary from Monday night storms in Iowa. This boundary should be somewhere between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers when storms begin to initiate.

Model simulation of storms Tuesday

While a few stray showers or weak thunderstorms will be possible through early afternoon, the presence of a cap (layer of warm air aloft) will likely prevent severe storms from developing until after 3 pm. This cap will likely keep storms somewhat discrete for the first hour or two allowing for a few supercells (rotating thunderstorms) to develop. These storms would likely develop west of the Illinois River and pose the greatest risk of hail and tornadoes. As the cap weakens, more storms will develop and evolve into a squall line as they move east across the region. Damaging wind gusts and brief spin-up tornadoes would be possible but the storms should . The risk of severe weather should end by 10 pm though non-severe showers and storms will remain possible overnight.

While the Storm Prediction Center has placed all of Central Illinois within a level 2 threat, the greatest risk of tornadoes will be west of a Canton to Peoria to Streator line where wind shear will be a little stronger. Depending on how storms in Iowa evolve overnight, the potential for tornadic supercells could increase.

The exact timing and placement of these storms are likely to be adjusted through Tuesday morning. Be sure to monitor future forecast and make sure you have multiple ways to receive warning information including a NOAA Weather Radio and the CiProud 2 go Weather App. For more on how you can prepare for severe storms visit our Storm Training 101 section of our website.